The G.F.F.N. (Gundam Fix Figuration Next Generation) line is a high-quality collectable figure line that as of yet, is still pretty small. As far as I know it hasn’t spawned very many figures, though the ones that it has given birth to are very high in quality and are all-around great. The Aile Strike definitely looked impressive when I first saw the promotional pictures for this figure. I’ve hoped Bandai would release a Fix Figuration Strike given time, and lo and behold we got it in the Next Generation series!
Most GFF/GFFN figures are scaled to 1/144 size, so it can blend in fairly well with a collection.
I like the proportions and redesign in general; the only slight gripe I have is the giant side skirts, which make Strike look funky with its arms at its sides. Head design is also a little funky in that it’s hard to make it look good; you’ll see that in the pictures. In person, it honestly doesn’t look that bad, though certain angles will make it look funky, especially since it doesn’t have much articulation other than swiveling side to side.
Paint apps are pretty darn good; I always loved the GFF line for it’s usually huge number of pre-set warning markings and decals, as well as that beautiful matte paint finish. I could never do that myself with kits, though I’m a huge fan of flat finishes.
Slight gripe is that Katoki apparently redesigned this Strike to have green eyes and sensors; only the Strike Rouge had green eyes and sensors…this bugged me quite a bit. Being a stickler Seed fanboy, it was a very small detail that could easily be overlooked, but I simply couldn’t take it and actually managed to take a sewing needle and paint the eyes yellow and the camera sensors blue. It was a tough job but I think it turned out pretty well. The green was simply unbearable.
Here’s a little something special with this figure that I’d never seen before: the knee and elbow joints are actually made out of die-cast metal. Never thought I’d see that on a general mass-produced figure; thought I’d only encounter it on the Metal Builds. The metal joints certainly do add a lot in terms of stability and overall figure weight. Doesn’t feel like a plastic model or conventional cheap action figure at all.
Joint movement is also very impressive, especially in the legs. Unlike previous GFF’s, the GFFN strike really does take it to the next level with articulation. It has a pretty free range of movement and actually moves far better than its HG 1/144 counterpart, despite being a standing display piece. Not quite as well as the Real Grade kit though, I’d wager.
Armor Schni-whatchamacallit (cookies to anyone who can actually spell these things’ names without looking it up) combat knives are also included, and they’re given in all black, similar to the Perfect Grade kit. I never understood why it was seemingly illegal for Bandai to mold the knives for any Strike kit in silver, though it’s an easy fix. Took a silver Sharpie (paint scratches off easier, believe it or not) and colored the knives in for some contrast to the handles.
Strike can pose fairly well with them, given how simple yet deadly the weapons are. The handles are thick; no wonder why the side skirts have to be so stupidly large; they actually open up and fit in there!
Aile Striker Pack ON! Strike looks much more complete now with wings and a backpack. The Aile pack itself isn’t anything too special; just pegs into the back, has adjustable thrusters and wings, and articulate beam saber holsters. The upper wings can move quite far, and are on simple joints unlike the MG kit which made use of a rather complicated two-hinge system. Metal is used once again in the Aile pack for the upper wing joints as well.
Side skirts also don’t like quite as giant anymore due to the added bulk and blend in well with the rest of the suit design.
Rifle and shield are pretty standard fare; nothing quite so special. Beam rifle has a moveable second handle, and the shield’s handle has three slots at different heights where it can peg into.
Something I noticed while posing the Strike and taking this ‘shoot is that the Strike’s arms can’t actually bend a straight 180 degrees. The way they’re designed, they can only straighten out so far, and there’s gonna be a slight bend in the elbow. This makes posing with the beam rifle rather tricky; it’s always gonna look funky if you put it in an aiming and shooting pose.
Like most GFF’s, you get a custom white display stand that takes up way too much space than it needs to. I like it for the fact that it looks very professional and simple; you get the Strike’s specs, pilot, designation, etc. on it, and the display stand attached to it is pretty articulate. It certainly serves its purpose in making Strike look like a great stand-alone collectable piece.
Some beam saber action. You get two hilts stored on the Aile pack; both are removable and come with individual pink beam effects. Overall they’re nice; I actually found it easier to pose Strike with its beam sabers than most other kits and figures.
Overall, I’d say G.F.F.N. Aile Strike is a fantastic figure. I’m personally a giant fan of the suit itself, and I find the slight redesign and such great. It’s essentially meant to act as a display piece, a very pricy collectable for those otakus who’re too busy to build kits but still want a presentable figure of their favorite mobile suit.
The metal joints and great quality alone make Strike a worthy buy, despite the rather hefty price tag. Then you get great play value thrown in there with its surprisingly impressive articulation and range of movement. Though the Strike does have its fair share of problems like every piece of merch out there, at the end of the day I’d say its aesthetics and display value outweigh and overshadow them nicely with no great loss.